Since the major pet food recall in 2007 a lot more people have taken notice of the inadequate status of the pet food industry. Many pet owners are left wondering what is safe to feed their pets and what they should avoid. As an answer to some of those questions I have compiled some safe options for pet owners as alternatives to major label pet food.
Animals need nutrition just like the rest of us so it is important when planning your furry friend’s diet to know what foods will keep them healthy and strong. Younger animals, like human children, need higher levels of protein, calories, and minerals than older dogs do. Dogs of all ages need high levels of protein, but not too high or they will get sick, and all 10 essential amino acids. They also require fatty acids to stay healthy especially from the omega-3 and omega-6 families. Pregnant animals need even more protein and fats than younger animals.
It is not a good idea to cut meat out of your pet’s diet even if you are a vegetarian. Animals need the proteins and nutrients in meat to stay healthy, and while we can take supplements to make up for meatless diets, it is never a good idea to give them to your pet. Dogs can usually get enough proteins and minerals from plants and limited meat, but with cats meat is a lot more important to health. Cutting meat out of a cat’s diet can lead to serious malnutrition and they should never be fed very starchy veggies. If your dog is living on a vegetarian diet it is important to ensure that they are getting enough amino acids and vitamin d.
Making your own pet food can be a great way to make sure your pets are getting the proper nutrition that they need. It can be time consuming, but it will be well worth it for the long and healthy life your pet will live with the proper foods. Feeding an animal table scraps can lead to all kinds of health problems, but preparing a special meal just for them can be very rewarding. Here are some websites with great pet food recipes and guidelines to feeding your pet healthy meals. http://www.healthrecipes.com/pet_supply.htm
There are many more websites for healthy pet food recipes that are fun and easy to make, and making your own means knowing the ingredients are quality and your pet is getting the best possible diet.
If you don’t have time to prepare your pets meals that is alright, there are still pet food manufacturers out there that have the animal’s best interests in mind. The trick is finding them. Pet food companies like Horizon Pet Nutrition use only locally grown foods and the best ingredients to ensure your pets health and have a minimal impact on the environment by using the hundred mile diet idea for cats and dogs. That is just one example of a pet food company that can still be trusted. There are more out there. Generally try to stay away from big labels who mass produce pet food because they are the most likely to cut corners with quality. Unfortunately a lot of labels are misleading, but finding out where the company manufactures can cut down on some of the risk. Food manufactured in Canada is at least loosely monitored by the Canadian veterinary association, but if it is manufactured anywhere else there’s a good chance that it wasn’t monitored or tested at all. Until the regulations on the pet food industry are more organized and structured than they are now we all have to be very careful what we are feeding our pets.